Jaipur: Alcohol may be bad for health but every sip will keep cows healthy in Rajasthan. The BJP government is all set to extend scope of cow cess. The finance department has prepared the proposal t impose cow cess, a surcharge, on price of liquor. After, approval from the state government to its proposal, the finance department has issued a circular to this effect. There was already 10 per cent surcharge on property deals that was introduced by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje in her budget speech last year.
She had introduced it for development of basic infrastructure facilities and protection and propagation of cows. This too has now been doubled. “It has also been agreed to increase the cow cess from current level of 10 per cent to 20 per cent on the stamp duty,” official sources informed. The cow cess generated Rs 237 crore for the government in last financial year against the requirement of Rs 490 crore to pay for shelter and food for 9.6 lakh cows in 2,562 authorised gaushalas. With the slump in the real estate sector and fewer donations, the government had to widen the scope of cow cess to increase its cow welfare kitty.
More so, because the government had increased the grant for fodder and water from three to six months. The previous financial year’s allocated fund was distributed in three instalments from January to March 2018. But, in the election year, the state government wants to distribute the entire money in time. The amount of cess on liquor will depend on how much money the directorate of Gopalan — a body constituted for the exclusive purpose of cow protection — wants to collect. Rajasthan was the first state to have a dedicated ministry for cow welfare.